Blackpool FC Community Trust is one of six EFL Football Clubs that are part of an exciting new programme providing 18-24 year olds with the key skills and experience to find employment.
The EFL Trust’s Training Ground programme is part of a new partnership with the Youth Futures Foundation that will target young people that are really struggling to get a foothold in the workplace. The initiative is aimed at 18-24 years olds that are furthest from the workplace and will help participants by enabling them to take on new education, employment or training opportunities leading to long term career progression.
Adrian Tallon, EFL Trust’s Head of Education and Employability said: “This is a unique opportunity for young people to overcome barriers and unlock their potential. They will be supported through our Training Ground programme which takes a holistic approach to employment. The programme provides practical support and training, alongside mentoring and wellbeing activities that will increase the confidence and overall wellbeing of participants.”
The Youth Futures Foundation was established to find, fund, support and evaluate programmes which help young people to move into meaningful work. Unemployment amongst 16-24-year-olds is currently four times as high as any other age group; those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds face the biggest challenge in getting a job.
Youth Futures Foundation’s Chief Executive, Anna Smee, commented: "We are delighted to support EFL Trust’s Training Ground Programme. Youth Futures Foundation is committed to a society where all young people have equitable access to good quality jobs, by identifying ‘what works’, investing in good practice and initiating new ways of working – to ignite systems change. This partnership will support our ambitions and help to deliver our vision."
The Training ground programme presents an opportunity to gain accredited skills and qualifications combined with increased personal development, culminating in work placement. Additional support will be provided throughout by a dedicated mentor and a targeted health and wellbeing programme. Skills wise the programme will include the development of English & maths functional skills, digital skills, health & safety, money management and customer services. The programme will also include workshops covering personal development areas such as resilience, interpersonal and employability skills as well as improving the participant’s physical and mental health.
Community Trust CEO, Ashely Hackett said: “Finding a job for a young person in Blackpool can be extremely difficult, even pre-COVID. Thanks to the EFL Trust and the Youth Futures Foundation we can now support 18-24 year olds, that are furthest from employment, and give them the skills they need to take those first steps into the world of work. Over a number of years our Employability programmes, in particular our Traineeships, have been a great success in Blackpool and having the chance to extend this area of work and offer it to more individuals is fantastic.”
One young person who already benefitted from a similar EFL Trust Employability programme is Dominic Thicketts from Blackpool. Before Dom attended the 12-week traineeship programme with Blackpool FC Community Trust, he was unemployed and always at home feeling isolated, lacked confidence and had very low self-esteem. As part of the traineeship, he successfully passed Maths, English and First Aid qualifications and undertook a work placement at Tesco. Subsequently Dom successfully gained employment with Blackpool Pleasure Beach. He comments, “I’ve never been employed and, so it was a really big step. However, Blackpool FC Community Trust helped me with more aspects of my life than I could have actually hoped for, and I want to make them proud with what I’m going to accomplish.”